Polaris 2016 Mountain Snowmobiles Lineup
Mountain Sledder | On 03, Mar 2015
Last night Polaris revealed the rest of the new 2016 Pro-RMK lineup after an early sneak peek at the 155 model a month ago, and the changes are quite dramatic.
AXYS RMK Chassis
Polaris has raised the chassis on the sled at all points, to increase clearance and reduce drag. The whole concept is to give the sled better “lift”, getting it up and out of the snow quicker. Running boards have been moved up in conduction, and the ride feel is certainly higher according to reports from demo rides.
At the front end of the chassis, taller spindles are part of the new “lift” equation, resulting in improved sidehilling and easier climbing. Gone is the glue—the RMK now comes stock with forged aluminum A-arms, which are lighter by 1.5lbs while providing “optimal strength”. Complementing the new design is a spring-check option to upgrade from monotube shocks to Walker Evans Piggyback Clicker shocks, which offer compression adjustment and remote reservoirs for better performance.
At the back, a newly designed rear suspension comes into play. The geometry has been revised, yet riders claim it stays true to its roots with the familiar feel of the 2015 and earlier model RMK’s, only significantly better. The suspension has a new rail design to further help pop the skid out of the snow and improve weight transfer. Riders will notice a more compliant on-trail ride as well.
The body does look a little different, and is indeed more narrow, but retains much of the same edgy styling as the earlier RMKs. The body panels are farther in, giving a better lean angle for really steep sidehills without panelling out. This change is surely the result of feedback from top Polaris riders such as Chris Burandt, who loves to push it in very steep trees.
The 800 Cleanfire injection engine gets a makeover as well, although fundamentally it remains the same powerplant. The crank is lightened by 2.5lbs, reducing inertia by an impressive 25%. Early testing suggests that the engine has significantly stronger pull from the bottom up, although no dyno numbers have been released.
A new electronic oil pump is a nice feature for a couple of reasons. Oil delivery precision is improved, which should result in more durability and does not require adjusting. A nice side effect is that throttle pull is made significantly lighter.
Two new tracks are available for the Pro-RMK, the new Series 6 all-around performer with a 2.6″ paddle and, you guessed it, a spring-check only track with a 3″ paddle called the Series 7, designed for the lightest and deepest snow conditions. That makes it official—all 4 manufacturers have latched onto the success of Ski-Doo’s T3 with a 3″ option track. And why not? They’d be crazy not to given the sales numbers for Ski-Doo in 2015. Polaris offers the 3″ track with a chaincase only, rather than the belt drive that comes standard on other Pro-RMK models, presumably as a safeguard against more load placed on the system through the taller lug.
Something Polaris can boast that Ski-Doo or any of the other manufacturers can’t is the lightness of the new AXYS chassis, weighing in at a featherweight 408lbs in the 155″ model. Wow. Polaris claims that it has added strength and durability where required while still managing to shed 9lbs.
Check the video to see some rider testimonials from a pre-release demo ride.